I absolutely loved I Hunt Killers, so it's follow up Game was one of the books I was most looking forward to this year.
In I Hunt Killers we were introI absolutely loved I Hunt Killers, so it's follow up Game was one of the books I was most looking forward to this year.
In I Hunt Killers we were introduced to Jasper Dent, who is the son of the worst serial killer in history, Billy Dent. While his father was put away in jail, Jasper still struggled with the possiblity of turning out like dear old dad after being raised to follow in his footsteps. Jasper still struggles with this very real fear in Game, and the stakes seem that much higher now that Billy has escaped from prison.
Game, even moreso than I Hunt Killers is a very mature YA book. It doesn't shy away from the grisly details as Jasper is brought into the investigation of a serial killer who is wreaking havoc and fear in the people of New York.
For this book, I had to suspend by belief a bit because I found it hard to believe that so many adults would rely so heavily on a seventeen-year-old boy, but on the other hand, Jasper is in a unique position. He knows how most serial killers think. There was a good quote in the book that touched on this a bit.
"You’ve heard of natural born killers, right? Well, you’re a natural born profiler.” “There are lots of good profilers out there.” Jazz wasn’t sure where she was headed now. “Not like you. They get how these guys think, sure. But you get how they feel. What it’s like for them, what they like. Why they like it."
While Jasper is separated from his best friend, Howie, and girlfriend, Connie. during much of the book, these characters were still, thankfully, very much in play. Howie was hiliarious as always. He was a great source of comic relief throughout.
“If I think she's hot and it turns out she's a psychopath, then what does that say about me? I'm totally not ready for that kind of therapy.”
I really enjoy Jasper and Connie's relationship as well. Jasper carries a lot fear about the possibility of hurting Connie in the first book, and in this book he seems even more afraid as things heat up sexually between him and Connie.
What I really love about the two of them, though, is that Connie really seems to know Jasper. There were many times when she refused to let herself be manipulated by him and other times when she used the manipulations she'd learned from him to help herself as she was dragged into the twisted game being played in this book.
The Hat-Dog killer was pretty gruesome, but I enjoyed the mystery this serial killer presented. For much of the book I really didn't have any solid guesses as to who the killer was or what game they were playing. When it comes to mysteries, thrillers or suspense novels, I like not being able to figure things out immediately, and Game did a wonderful job of keeping me guessing.
Jasper's voice has really been my favorite part of this series. His way of thinking is so interesting. Even when those thoughts go dark, there's still an edge of humor. I really and fully believe in his ability to charm others because he's charmed me as well. Also, as terrifying as Billy is, he's such a presence throughout the book due to the way he's wormed himself into Jasper's head. As much as I hate him, I do enjoy Jasper's mental sparring with his father.
I cannot wait for the next book to come out because this one left me on the edge of my seat. Write, Barry Lyga, write!...more